Leftover radish seed from last year

Leftover radish seed from last year

We should be contemplating our gardens now, shouldn’t we?  Thinking about buying seeds or possibly planting starters in our sunny windows.  That’s what good gardeners do in March, don’t they?  Start thinking about everything garden-related with great intensity, planning and dreaming of rows of plants fluttering in the July breeze.

Even when the snow measures deeper than a four foot ruler in places, we all know garden season waits just around the corner.  Some of us actually move into action, leafing through seed catalogs or ordering Heritage or organic seeds.

We must be gardener failures, because we always end up buying our seeds at the last minute from local stores.  We hurriedly grab this and that, that and this, off the racks without too much contemplation, although we’re particularly happy when we discover organic seeds. 

We hurriedly pencil in a list of last year’s crop before going to the store:  (let me so how many I can remember)  carrots, lettuces (2-3 varieties), beets, peas, onions, beans, zuchini, radish, leek, squash (as many kinds as we can find), brocoli, kale, collards, peppers (green & hot), tomatoes, brussel sprouts, cucumber, cilantro, basil, parsley.  I’m probably forgetting some of the basic ones.  Which is why a list comes in handy.

We buy some seeds and some fledgling plants.  During the past many years of gardening we’ve figured out what grows well and what doesn’t.  Every year certain crops struggle or wither or pout because the conditions aren’t optimal for ideal growing.  It can be heart-breaking to watch cucumbers shrivel on the vine.  Or delightful acorn squash.  Or sturdy brussels begin to topple.   Such sadness ensues as one realizes the harvest might not include everything one loves!

However, there’s always enough.  Except for that year (15-20 years back) when the deer ate every last thing in the garden.  Every last thing.  Even the bitter tomato vines.  The next year we bought an electric fence and we’ve been protecting our turf like crazy.  How I hated that fence when it first arrived!  It reminded me of Gestapo concentration camps.  I protested mightily…but enjoyed the harvest in equal proportions that following autumn.  We’ve come to a reluctant true, that fence and I.

Garden shovel and stakes (for marking rows) sit ready in the snow

Garden shovel and stakes (for marking rows) sit ready in the snow

See the shovel and stakes in the garden?  The shovel was utilized earlier in the winter to bury fish guts.  Yes.  Until my husband determined the garden couldn’t digest any more fish innards without destabilizing the soil composition. 

We do use a compost bin, tossing in scraps of vegetables and fruit and other kitchen refuse.  At some point the entire heap is worked into the garden, helping to enrich the soil.  Let me see if there’s a compost box picture for you to view.

Our not particularly beautiful compost bin

Our not particularly beautiful compost bin

As spring and summer settle in, there’s always the question of garden moisture.  Too much rain or not enough?  Luckily, we have a hose which assists in watering.  Unluckily, we do not have an abundant supply of water in our well. 

The mighty hose

The mighty hose

That’s about enough thinking for this early in the season!  We have Time.  Lots of time before the sun melts away all this snow and the garden begins to look ready for its spring tilling.  Those in southern climates may be anticipating planting soon, but we’re in for a long wait.  Maybe I should look for Heritage seeds this year!!

Advertisements